35 Favourite Things #HappyBirthdayToMe

The day before yesterday was my birthday  And if you can tell by the title, I turned 35!

Initially I didn’t give it a second thought, because ever since I turned 18 I realized I always have felt like I was 16 :)

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But I figured, I’d mark the moment with a little reminder to myself of 35 of my favourite things.

1. Hugs from Miss S and EliHaze
I am grateful for when my girls wrap their tiny arms tightly around my neck and lately when Miss S tries to reach all the way around my shoulders.  I completely agree with all parents who have ever told me that kid cuddles are the best.

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2. 1 second video app
I’ve been struggling with trying to capture the special moments but also stay present with the kids.  Buuut, I think I’ve found something that may be the solution.  I used this awesome app for about 6 months.  It’s so fun to watch how our life changed in those months.  Just doing some sound edits and will be posting it soon.

3. Day dates with the Hubs
Before kids, the mister and I went out almost every night. Living downtown, we took advantage of every scene possible. The ‘Liscious events, Nuit Blanche, Going to movies after work/dinner, even a late night (10pm) gym session was a luxury we enjoyed. However now, we take serious advantage of the “day date”. I know we may have a few more years ahead of us before we can truly enjoy a night out again so we are using daycare and a kiddo napping in the car seat whenever we can!

4. My DSLR
Mad love although I am in the market for a something new :) Like this and this or this.

5. My blog
I think anyone out there who has a blog agrees. And even though I’ve questioned parts of the blogging experience – my blog is a special place for my words, thoughts, art and photographs.

6. The Library
I love walking into a big room full of books, and then walking out with a stack of books for free (for appx 3 weeks) is even better.

7. Our kitchen chalkboard
I actually got the idea to paint a wall in our kitchen from a family member who also had it in her kitchen. Sometimes we use it for our grocery list, doodles, teach a lesson to Miss S, a seasonal message, a reminder, a to-do list. But it fosters our family’s cohesiveness and creativity – which is top of my list.

8.  Kiddo art work
Whether it’s stuff that gets sent home with her from preschool or things her and I create together when her pops is in school – I love it.  I really really really hope I am instilling some foundation of creativity in her.

9. Marketing/Social Media/Millennials/Hygge
I probably sound like a big nerd but I find the above topics so fascinating – especially how they interwine.

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10.  Gratitude
It’s a habit I picked up a few years ago, but it’s still my favourite mind recharging tool. (Now if only I can get into meditation)

11. Easy green smoothie
Handful or two of baby spinach, one chopped up pear, a few splashes of lime juice and teaspoon of maple syrup – the EASIEST greens smoothie eeevvaaaa!  Also quick add ons for my weekend smoothie: cinnamon, ginger (fresh with peals on), a banana, coconut water, hemp hearts, celery, cucumber #Slurp

12.  Moleskin planner
I’ve mentioned this a few times, I am kind of planner and journal obsessed.  But the Moleskin planner is my current fav.  It’s a a one or TWO year planner with a SOFT COVER!  It has lined pages beside a weekly page, tons of simple stickers, monthly calendars, free pages and a pocket.

13. The Social
Love this TV show.  Especially when I was using the gym on my work lunch break.  I can break up the work day to watch it lol

14. PodCasts
I know they’ve been around for a while, but I only got into them recently.  It’s such an EASY way to get information without having to look at something (i.e.: a screen).  I started this one recently after reading this book. Other favs include: Richroll, The Millennial and the Ted Talks.

15.  DIYing
Probably the coolest concept.  Growing up I didn’t really have anyone role model to me what a DIY was so when I started planning my wedding and realized it was thing I was hooked.  I do it a lot from party decor to house hold stuff.  Somethings I want to try in the next year: rope basket in different shapes and sizes (thinking small one for the front door key / phone spot and something larger for Miss S’s room)…aaanndd maybe this too.

16.  Fresh roses on our coffee table
The house can be a complete disaster (which it normally is) but when I see the fresh roses on the coffee table – I feel like I am in a hotel lobby or in someone who’s house is clean and spotless LOL

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17. Reading Blogs
I think I’ve said this before but blogs (currently and more specifically lifestyle blogs) are so inspiring and motivating.  I’ve been reading blogs for over 10 years now – The one blog I used to read/interact with is no longer around, but the writer was a sweetheart and so relatable. That said, with social media the past time of ACTUALLY reading the blog posts is now a long lost hobby I feel.

18.  My faux Marble table top
I saw a DIY for this in the summer and it was the coolest thing so I made one.  Theeennnn I realized I could probably just swap out a table top from an actual table (maybe something from Ikea or Target) and actually have a “marble table”.  In any case it’s perfect for clean background / flatlay shots that I love taking and it cost me less than 10 bucks!

tly_marble19.  Counting my steps
I think a few years ago when 10K steps a day became a thing I didn’t catch on.  But the older / wiser I get I feel like walking is a misunderstood form of physical activity.  I realized this by starting the BBG program (which I didn’t finish – twice now) I love the gym, I love weights and I love running but I am starting to fall in love with walking. I’ve been going back and forth between my phone and my husbands fitbit flex (which I gifted him but he doesn’t use lol).  And some days when I am feeling really motivated, I walk circles around my house just to “get my steps in

20. My Foam Roller
I first started using a foam roller in 2012, but it should have been sooner.

21. This photograph is by far my fav photograph from this year.  You can find it on my Etsy shop too!

22. Doing arts and craft projects with my daughter
I am legit that IT analyst corporette/Mat Leave mom by day and that wannabe DIY/Craft Mom all the other times of the day lol.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Now just gotta find a way to do more DIYs and crafts in the day :P

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23. Going to the gym on my lunch break
I never thought I would be one of those people rushing to the gym to get a workout in during my lunch break – but it’s been the best decision for my lifestyle (as a working mom).

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I’ve been using it since 2012 on my personal account and since 2015 as an extension of this blog.  It is still by far my favourite social media site.  I always find motivating and intriguing people to follow and I love scrolling my own feed to see all the cool things I’ve been up to/pictures I’ve been able to capture.

25. Our neighbourhood
All the parks and green space – serious game changer.

26. Yoga / Sun Salutations
I don’t do it enough but it always makes me feel better.  Now next year I need to get into meditiation.

27. Facetime
I know this is super old technology but it’s major thing holding me back from getting anything other than apple products.  Plus – It’s an awesome way to talk to grandparents, cousins and friends who are not close by.

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28. Loaded Oatmeal
Although I haven’t had oatmeal in a few weeks I love love love personalizing it and making it into a hearty meal or very filling snack. Some of my fav toppings are: hemp hearts, hazelnut almond butter, cacao nibs/dark chocolate chips :)

29. Wholewheat toast with melty pb, banana and chia seeds
I would eat it everyday.

30. Intention/Minimalism
Being more aware of what I am doing/eating/thinking/saying has allowed me to be more conscious of my consumption.  And that awareness is only something a 35 year old can get :P

31. Giving up chicken (and bacon!)
I have never been so proud of myself then I have these past almost 4 months.

32. Journaling
Whatever form it is in, i.e.: this blog, bullet journaling or even in a folder of word documents.  The process and practice is very invigorating to me.

33. Red nail polish & Red lipstick
Honestly someone just perma-stain my nails red because it’s truly the only nail polish colour that I can keep on my nails for longer than 3 days :P

34. The words “I am”
Totally related to being intentional these words are really powerful.  I recently read that chanting the words “I am, I can, I will, I do” during meditation is probably more doable / powerful than focusing too hard on breathing.

35. Mind Maping
Getting all your thoughts out on a topic or project is so freeing!

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I am not a yogini but I want to do headstands

I am always careful when using the word “but”.  I am sure this is common knowledge but everything before the but is thought to be untrue slash doesn’t stand for anything.  Hence this title of this post.  I am not a yogini and I still want to learn to do a headstand.

I found this article on headstands for beginners. I plan on adding the exercises (pictured below) to my daily workout/stretch/foam rolling routine to build muscles, strength and stamina for this pose.

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Although not pictured, I also need to add “plank on my forearms” to this practice.

Wish me luck!

What works for me: Goals, Productivity & #Motherhood

I was lucky enough to see my mentor on my trip to the city last week.  I am glad that I was able to make it happened. (I love seeing how the things I write down come to fruition #ThoughtsBecomeThings).

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Sandals (similar) | Pants | Tie up top | Chocker (similar)

She mentioned to me to enjoy my time off (Maternity Leave) because she could see the gears turning as I was talking to her about my thoughts for when I return.  She suggested to me to make a plan and set a date and then not to think about any of that until that time.  She told me to enjoy my time off (not really time off but you know) and enjoy my family.

I am – totally and completely.

Yesterday I walked back from the baby’s library program in the beautiful 24 degree weather with the sun shinning down and I couldn’t have been more content and present.

And I realized that part of me enjoying my time is having something to look forward to and something to achieve for myself.  I need this to feel like myself.  And if I don’t feel like myself, I won’t be happy.  And if a mom isn’t happy than it’s not a good thing for anybody.

So this is just a reminder to myself, to keep having goals (small daily wins and big audacious dreams) keep doing me so I can take care of myself and my family.

Back at it with @Fitbit

I love the fitbit.  And I think it’s because my job is pretty sedentary – it’s a way to get up and move during the day.

Around the 8th month of pregnancy and although I was still going into the office, I stopped wearing my #fitbit.  It was hard getting around (obviously) and because I was/am in so much competition with myself and getting my steps in, I was really putting myself down when I would end the day at 8000 steps or even 9500 steps but too lazy to walk a few circles around the house to finish it off.

TLY_FitbitUpdate3During the last trimester I feels its really important to do everything to be positive – I decided that I didn’t want to unnecessarily “pressure” myself if I didn’t get my steps in.

Now I’ve been wearing my fitbit again consistently for the last 3 months and I’m back in love.

I pretty consistently hit 10K 5/7 days a week.  Some days I get over 10K steps – and those days I want to go to bed early!  Who knew that walking could be that exhausting.

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What’s different this time around?

I am doing more challenges, some with friends (Weekend Warrior or Work Week Hustle) or solo (NYC Marathon etc).  These are just fun ways to be competitive but also get badges and trophies.  That said – it can become to competitive so I am taking a break from them.

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What have I learned?

You cannot push a stroller and expect to have your steps counted if you wear your fitbit on your arm.  If I know I am going to push a stroller or grocery cart, I put my fitbit in my pocked or into my sock to get an accurate count.

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Is there anything I don’t like about the fitbit?

I wish the fitbit was more fashion friendly.  I don’t like that the bracelet is as big as it is (although I wear one that is pretty close to my skin tone).

Admittantly using a fitbit for me is a bit of an obsession but a healthy one I would say. On the good active days I get a workout in, I’ll get my goal steps in, over 30 minutes of activity, have walked 8km and got pretty close to “burning” 2000 calories.  It’s just a gauge and everyone is different but it keeps me accountable it’s easy for me to manage.  Looking forward to the next 3 months of stepping.

Yesterday I meditated

I realized that I needed to actually meditate (not just throw it off my goals list with an excuse).  I also realized I needed a bit of guidance.  Thank goodness for free apps from the Appstore.  I tried this one as recommended by my sister.

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There was a little too much talking but I did appreciate the idea the announcer made of feeling my body’s weight and listening to the sounds around you (usually with mediation you try not to focus on those things).  When my thoughts wandered, I tried to focus mainly on counting (from 1 to 10) and following my breath.

It actually felt really relaxing and I even got an idea of something to paint #The100DayProject.

Something that helped me get in the mood was actually putting on clothes to mediate in. #GetUpDressUpShowUpNeverGiveUp

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If you been following the last 5 days, you might have noticed that I’ve blogged everyday from Monday to Friday and, as a goal and personal challenge,will continue to do so for the rest of June 2017.

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You also might notice that I didn’t actually get this post published on time.  I did 10 sun salutations for the first time in months yesterday and my muscles really felt the effects.

 

Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 5)

The weather finally stayed consistently warm this weekend which was pretty rad because I pretty much lived in my jean jacket!

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On Friday, Thursday I watched Minimalism (check the blog later this week for my thoughts on it). And then on Saturday I started watching Food Matters (another documentary I plan on discussing). If it were up to me I’d watch documentaries more often but that would mean the hubs would be falling asleep on the couch more often too :P

I am currently working on my June EdCal and plan on sharing my EdCal process for May as well. Without going into too much detail I loved having a tangible place to see my blog post ideas and found that it allowed me to be on top of my posting schedule (considering that posting more consistently is one of my Mat Leave goals).

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Ok onto how our weekend went!  We had one of Miss S’s preschool friends 3rd birthday party on Saturday morning.  Although birthday parties can take over your weekend – I actually love that the kiddos get to interact and see each other outside of school.  The rest of the day we took it easy by fitting in a workout, doing some groceries and hanging out at home.  Sunday we braved the rush at IKEA for an early lunch and to get my steps in. The Misters mom and I were in a Weekend Warrior challenge going on and she legit gave me a run for my money. Later in the day we headed over to the in laws to visit as my Father In Law just returned from India and it was my nephews birthday. 

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Here is my review on last weeks goals:

  1. Finish reading my book (see here)
  2. Continue research/gathering ingredients for the bread recipe (purchased yeast now time to try something!)
  3. Take more photography ex: OOTD, family photos, sisters snapshots (done! Got done visual content for the blog also)
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times (yep killed it on both accounts!)
  5. Get a grip with my laundry piles (done got folded away some still sitting in the the dryer and some still in the basket waiting to be put away )
  6. Update my Etsy shop (started to look at it but got distracted)
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print (nothing to report here)
  8. Do 10 sun salutations (I did 4 – will try again next week)
  9. List out monthly goals for June (done!)
  10. Start working on some photos books (not yet, although I ordered some photo magnets!)

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For this coming week these are my goals:

  1. Read 2 chapters for my book
  2. Make some bread!
  3. Take some more everyday photography shots and move photos from SD Card
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times 
  5. Take Miss El to the Born to Read library program
  6. Update my Etsy shop 
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print
  8. Do 10 sun salutations 
  9. Finish June EdCal
  10. Work on Miss S’s party planning

Have a great week!